Saeed Jaffrey Biography Facts, Childhood, Family, Life, Wiki, Age, Work

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Who was Saeed Jaffrey?

Saeed Jaffrey, OBE is an actor from India and Britain with a vast knowledge of languages enabled him to perform in stage, radio and film, as well as television over America, Britain, and India. Saeed’s voice, as well as his ability to imitate well allowed him to be a narrator of many audiobooks. Before beginning the acting profession, he was a student at numerous universities and colleges, such as Aligarh Muslim University, Wynberg Allen School, St. George’s College as well as Catholic University of America. He became the most prominent British Asian actor in the 1980s and 1990s , after having a leading role on the drama series, ‘Tandoori nights as well as ‘Little Napoleans’ and “The Jewel in the crown.’ Jaffrey broke into the film industry of India, Bollywood, with the film ‘Shatranj K Khilari which won an award from the Filmfare prize for his performances. Later, he was cast in a variety of others Hindi films. The extremely gifted Jaffrey became the only Asian to receive Canadian and British nominations for film awards. He was also given the OBE for his work in drama. He was also the first Asian to be awarded this honor.

Childhood & Early Life

Saeed Jaffrey was born the 8th of January 1929 from Malerkotla, Punjab region in British India, to Punjabi Muslim parents Dr. Hamid Hussain and his wife Hamida Begum. His father worked as an physician in the United Provinces of British India’s Health Services department. He had three brothers and sisters, Shagufta, a sister Shagufta and two brothers Hameed as well as Waheed.

The year was 1938 when he was enrolled in the Minto Circle School at Aligarh Muslim University where he was able to master the Urdu language. He also developed his ability for imitation.

In 1941, Jaffrey was a student in the Wynberg Allen School and later completed his studies at St. George’s College, Mussoorie. In his school, Jaffrey started participating in school productions of the theatre.

After his college graduation He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees and M.A. degrees Allahabad University. Then he received another postgraduate diploma at Catholic University of America in the year 1957.


The year was 1951. Saeed Jaffrey travelled from New York to New Delhi and got the job of an English announcer for All India Radio. The following year, he established the repertory company Unity Theatre, alongside ‘Benji’ Benegal and Frank Thakurdas who produced the first show with The Eagle Has Two Heads’.

At the Unity Theatre, he and his first wife Madhur Bahadur performed in a variety of plays together, such as ‘A Phoenix Too Frequent, The Importance of being Earnest and the play ‘Othello.’

The year was 1957. Jaffrey was a part of St. Michael’s Playhouse and also performed as part of The National Players, becoming the first Indian to appear in Shakespearean productions throughout the USA.

He appeared in the Off-Broadway production of the film ‘Blood Wedding in 1958. The actor was an Oscar-nominated narration in the short film “The Creation of Woman”.

From January through May 1962, he portrayed in the character of Godbole on stage in an adaptation of ‘A Passage To India’. The following year, Jaffrey developed the touring company Theater In The Street and played the role in “The Doctor, Despite Himself.’

He was his first Indian to play a leading part in a West End theatre when he was chosen to play the lead in ‘On A Cloudy Day’. In 1966 the actor recorded a narration for the Kama Sutra titled ‘The Art of Love.’

In the 1970s, this actor was featured in a variety of English films like “The Wilby Conspiracy’ and ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ . He was also on the British series “Gangsters.”.

in the 80s, he played parts in the British television drama ‘Tandoori nights as well as “The Jewel in the crown’. In the same time as well, he was also in the epic film about the history of India “Gandhi,” as well as on the comedy-drama film “My Beautiful Laundrette”.

in 1994 Jaffrey was a part of the show ‘Little Napoleans’, which featured Norman Beaton, Lesley Manville and Simon Callow. A few years after, Jaffrey provided his voice to the 86 characters of the TV adaptation from Vikram Seth’s novel “A Suitable Boy”.

Major Works

The year 1977 was the time that Saeed Jaffrey gained acclaim in India by appearing in the film ‘Shatranj Ki Khilari which he later won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his performance.

The year 1985 was the time he gained notoriety for his performance in the role of Kunj Bihari, a character from the movie “Ram Teri Ganga Maili”. It starred Mandakini along with Rajiv Kapoor. The film was the highest-grossing Hindi film of the year. Jaffrey’s performance was praised by the audience , and earned him an Filmfare Award nomination.

Family & Personal Life

Between 1958 and from 1958 to Saeed Jaffrey got married in 1958 to Madhur Jaffrey from 1958 to 1964. They had 3 daughters: Meera, Zia and Sakina (an actress).

When the actress was in her 20s, she was married to the director of casting for a freelance company, Jennifer Sorrell. The couple remained married until Jaffrey’s demise in the year 2015.

On November 15, 15th, 2015 Jaffrey passed away in a London hospital of a brain hemorrhage.